Hi, I’m Brena Jean

 

I am a Lipedema advocate, influencer, meditation enthusiast, and writer. You’ll find my meditation content under ‘Mind’ and my Lipedema content under ‘Lipedema Body.’  

To keep up with my Lipedema Story

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Email me at  hello@brenajean.com

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I Belong on the Cover of a Can of Tomatoes in this eShakti Summer Dress

Don’t I look like somebody that knows how to garden? I’m gonna call this version of me Debra. Debra looks like she has a flourishing herb collection, knows some things about a good sauce, and enjoys the feeling of her hands buried deep in the soil of some fancy plant. Debra is far from the real me. Most of my food comes from Doordash, cooking is my least favorite task, and I’ve killed cactus, but seeing “Debra” in me has opened my eyes to all the opportunities for “lightheartedness” I’m missing in my life.

The real Brena Jean, an East Oakland native with a purple thumb, has never imagined such an “easy breezy” existence for herself. The version of me, standing in this Napa Valley grape vineyard, wearing this plus-size eShakti Striped Cotton Tiered Maxi Dress, under this Shein Emery Rose Wide Brim Straw Hat is full of joy at the softness and whimsy in her real-life on this day. The real me is making a practice of showing gratitude for moments of ease and lightness every day.  

Good Clothes

My momma always bragged about how her “good clothes” had a lining on the inside of the garment. Today, I find myself checking the insides of skirts, dresses, and coats for my mama’s lesson about quality clothing. I always find a lining in the high-quality custom and ready-to-wear pieces from eShakti. They’ve been my not-so-secret weapon for finding designs, usually only available in straight-sizes, in plus sizes larger than a 22 or 24. 

Image of Brena Jean, a fat, Black, bald woman wearing a plus size coral and white striped summer dress, with a light brown, wide brim, Bermuda hat. Brena's hands are holding the brim of the hat up and her yellow wedge sandals are also in one hand.

eShakti Styles are Not Fast Fashion

 When it comes to saving money on “fast fashion”, eShakti reigns supreme. They offer fashions that come and go with the latest trends. I always find classic eye-catching dresses, skirts, tops, and pants that won’t go out of style with the next wave of popular trends. I’ve got eShakti skirts in my closet that are more than 4 years old and still stun when I wear them in my Tik Toks and Instagram posts! If someone were to ask me if the clothes are worth the investment, I’d respond with a resounding, “ABSOLUTELY FRIEND!”

 

Learn Your Way Around eShakti Collections

Classic Collection

There are four brand collections within eShakti today. eShakti’s Classic Collection features their well-known “fit and flare ” styles. These classic silhouettes made eShakti a go-to for me. Lipedema has grown my arms to 28 inches around (and made them heavy as hell too). When I want a buttoned-down, short, or long-sleeved dress with a flared skirt – I know exactly where I can get it from. eshakti allows you to customize the sleeves, collars, and lengths of most of their garments. I can even send pictures of my arms and add additional notes for the seamstresses. 

I’ve got my eyes on more than a few items from this collection, but you may see me prancing around in this Check Print Dupioni Surplice Dress and this Floral Print Dupioni Surplice Dress(with the spaghetti tie straps in knee-length).

 

Zapelle Collection

eShakti’s Zapelle Collection offers more contemporary designs. You’ll find the same uniqueness throughout this collection as you do with the others. Asymmetric hems, wide-leg pants, and unique prints make this collection worth a peek. I have my eye on these Graphic-Print Sash-Tie Shorts in both the Bermuda shorts and gauchos length. 

 

Newbury Collection

The Newbury Street Collection is a fancy collection of premium designs made with premium fabrics. Their Crepe Drawstring Dress, Drop Waist Floral Print Georgette Shirtdress, and Front Vent Taffeta Satin Maxi Dress (Try it with three quarter inch sleeves and shorten the length to mid-calf and pair it with this Contoured Black Fascinator from Etsy for a rich auntie summer!) 

Image of Brena Jean, a fat Black, brown skin, woman, wearing a plus size striped coral summer dress from eShakti. It looks like she's throwing her Panama hat towards the camera.

Wayward Fancies

Lastly, the Wayward Fancies collection from eShakti is super fun and extra cute relaxed bohemian fashion collection. That’s where I found this plus-size Striped Cotton Tiered Maxi Dress “Debra” is wearing. The dress features adorable bows at the shoulders, which I cannot get enough of. Under the wide straps, there are tiny straps that hold your dress straps in place when you loop them under your bra strap and snap them closed. Without them snapped around my bra strap, I found myself pulling up my straps every few seconds. You can customize the length of this dress (cute as a mini, by the way), as well as, opt for spaghetti straps with no bows. You can even ditch the pockets if you’re a weirdo that hates pockets. 

 

Image of Brena Jean in a grape vinyard. She is a fat, brown skin Black woman, wearing a tan-colored sun hat and a plus size striped coral dress with bows on the shoulder and holding a pair of yellow wedge sandals. She is smiling and her eyes are closed.

 

Picture it… Italy!

Imagine reaching into your pantry and pulling out a can of diced tomatoes. Not just any old reg’la (that’s regular for you folks that need a translation) can, but something special! Pre-seasoned with an Italian blend Debra concocted on her pre-panini press travels through Northern Italy. (If you’ve been to Northern Italy, you probably could tell, that I’ve never left the United States by that last sentence… let’s just indulge my imagination on this one). You turn the can around and there she is. An unacceptably fat, unambiguously Black, Black woman blushing with joy and taking pleasure in the simple things. Sun, soil, and style on your can of diced tomatoes. You’re welcome. 

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